27 January 2012

Meet the neighbors at Boulder Beach

On our tour down to the Cape, we made a stop at Boulder Beach which is one of only two places in the world where African penguins gather to breed and raise their young.  On the sheltered sandy beach, these smallest penguins flirt, nest, sun themselves and socialize.  They are wonderfully animated and great fun to photograph.

Also called Jackass Penguins because of the braying way in which they vocalize, African penguins are among the smallest penguins.  We heard that the penguins can be very noisy neighbors and something of a nuisance because they do tend to wander into people's gardens.  But hey, who was in the neighborhood first? 

We also encountered African penguins in the Capetown Aquarium where they are frequently placed as rescued animals. There they are breeding very successfully and the chicks are returned to the wild. With their curious little faces and stubby wings, they quite steal your heart.  Psssst ...  If you look carefully in the last photo, you can jus t see a grey feathered chick in the bottom right, just behind Mom's left flipper.

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